Trying to deal with Jamie Fraser withdrawal

“I feel… empty”

I couldn’t help myself to start this post with this Grey’s Anatomy quote from early season 2 :-) I’m a nerd that way, that I perfectly remember some dialogues, which probably has something to do with watching the episodes or favourite moments of it multiple times. But this line just came to my mind, when I thought how to write about the strange feeling I woke up to this morning. And no, it has nothing to do with being sick and throwing up *g*. Just with having said goodbye to some very lovely people, who I spent most of my spare time with during the last few days. Yes, I’ve finished reading “An Echo in the Bone” late last night, very late last night. Early this morning to be exact. I just couldn’t put it down and go to sleep not knowing what’s going to happen to the Frasers. And the MacKenzies. And of course Lord John and William Ransom. And now I know, or at least I know parts of it, because of course there were some cliffhangers and in fact I don’t know anything at all really. Which sucks a little. But I guess that’s the price you have to pay when you let yourself get sucked into this fictional world and get so so attached to all these wonderful characters.

This 7th novel of the Outlander series was just published last week so I’ll try to not give anything away and to not spoil anyone’s pleasure of reading it. Because it has been a tremendous pleasure. I know I’ve said it before, when I have spent almost two months this summer reading the first six novels in a row. But I really have to express my deepest thanks to Diana Gabaldon for creating these characters and to make them so loveable, that I couldn’t help but fall in love with them and care about their fate. Diana has a wonderful way with words and she made these broad range of various characters with their different ways of living and their sense of honor and morality come alive, which is really fascinating.

There were still a few things that bothered me. The biggest probably is, that nobody told me that I should have read the Outlander spinoff – Lord John series – as well, before I read this newest novel :-). I had thought about reading the Lord John series after I had finished “A Breath of Snow and Ashes”  but thought it really just were about Lord John and not at all about the original Outlander characters. I just today read that Jamie makes an appearance in one of the stories. Damn, why didn’t I know  that before :-)? Anyway, there were quite a few characters in this 7th novel, who I didn’t know. Who hadn’t appeared in the previous ones and there were backstories I didn’t remember. I have to admit I might not be the most dilligent reader, when it comes to the Outlander series, because I am always so impatient to find out what is happening to my favourite couple, that I might not fully concentrate on all the parts of the story in which they don’t appear. But I knew I would have remembered if someone like “Percy Beachamp” had made an appearance before.
So I figured out that all of these characters and backstories must have been part of the Lord John series. I still understood the events and storylines in this Outlander novel, but it probably would have helped to have the knowledge from the Lord John series. I ordered them this afternoon just to have all the nformation even if it’s belated now.

The things that bothered me during the first six novels, bothered me in this one as well, even though they didn’t bother me a lot. And they didn’t bother me all that much back then to begin with. I can’t really criticize a writer, whose books I can’t put down, can I? But I still sometimes had the strange feeling that Diana Gabaldon makes up the story, while she is writing it, if you know what I mean. That she doesn’t have clear plan where the story is headed. At least it sometimes felt to me that way.
Just like in the previous parts of this series I thought some of the twists and turns in the plot were a bit too far-fetched. Too much a (un)lucky coincidence to actually pass as believable. I good-naturedly just ignored those this time as well. But there also were some twists and turns which were really surprising and kept me on the edge of my seat. Like the cliffhanger I mentioned above.

One of the surprising twists was, when Jamie is assumed to be dead, which I can’t consider a spoiler, because it should be clear to anyone that Diana would never kill him off. Ever. Well, I hope not ever, not even in the end of the last last part of the series. Anyway, he is assumed dead, but of course he’s not and thus reading about it wasn’t as heartbreaking as it could have been. I was just anxious to have him reappear at Claire’s side, because of course she didn’t know he was still alive and was devasted. How she dealt with her grief was one of the surprising twists, but I really liked it. And in the end there even was the encounter I most anxiously had waited for since page 1. Or even the end of the 6th novel. Well for a long long time at least. It didn’t happened the way I would have imagined it, but it still was all absolutely in character. And just like in my personal envisoned version of that encounter, a rosary indeed was thrown across the room. Yes, I know my guys :-)

I still haven’t figured out how to spend my days without Jamie now. Besides writing long blog posts about this novel :-) Yes, there is a termpaper to work on. A Grey’s review to write (Absolutely loved the epsisode). There are other TV series to catch up with. Messy and cramped shelves to sort through. Hockey games to watch. So much more stuff to spend my time with.
But I’m really really reallly going to miss Jamie. Why? Because he is just the most perfect fictional guy that has ever crossed my path. He is handsome. Funny. Smart. Sexy. Thoughtful. Brave. Caring. Sexy. Honorable. Galant. Affectionate… Did I mention “sexy”? Just like Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd (who by the way is my second favourite fictional guy) Jamie has the most adorable habit to make all kind of “Hmph” noises. And he is Scot, for God sake, which means he has the most adorable accent, which you can’t actually read in print, but I can totally hear it, when I read it. And he says things like “Sassenach” and “Dinna fash…”. So, seriously what’s not to love about this guy? Now I just have to figure out a way how to live without him again for the next couple of years *sigh*

6 Comments

  1. Ich werd Dir mal kurz meinen Kommentar auf Deutsch schreiben, will jetzt nämlich nicht umschalten auf Englisch ;-). Das mit den unbekannten Charakteren in AEITB stimmt, ABER: das war pures Kalkül seitens Gabaldon. Gabaldon wird nämlich noch ein zweites Kompendium zur Saga schreiben, wahrscheinlich noch 2 weitere Outlander-Romane plus 1 Buch über Maitre Raymon, 1 Buch über Jamies Eltern und eines über Rogers Eltern. Sowie 2 Graphic Novels, die die Geschehnisse aus den ersten Bänden ergänzen. Es gibt nämlich einige Dinge die erst in diesen anderen Büchern aufgelöst werden. Vor allem einige Geheimnisse wie die Sache mit dem Schatz der Seehunde ist noch nicht geklärt und hängt mit den Ereignissen in Paris in Teil 2 zusammen. Da sind Sachen passiert die Jamie und Claire nicht wissen und die wir dann in den folgenden Büchern erfahren werden. Auch diese Sache mit dem Mädchen in Paris, deren Tod Jamie zu verschulden hat wird in den Graphic Novels aufgelöst. Also keine Sorge wenn dir einige Personen und Geschehnisse unbekannt vorkommen, das ist Kalkül und Strategie von Gabaldon. Und PR für die Folgebände ;-) Mit den Lord John Romanen allein wirst du da nicht viel weiter kommen, ausser die Sache mit seinem Stiefbruder mit dem er mal eine Beziehung hatte. Die wird da etwas Näher erwähnt. Alles andere ist für die Highlandsaga unwichtig.
    Und Du hast natürlich ganz recht: Gabaldon entwickelt ihre Geschichte während des Schreibens und plant sie nicht weit voraus. Sie meinte selber mal, es entwickelt sich sowieso immer alles anders als geplant ;-). Das erklärt viele Ungereimtheiten. Geplant waren nur Band 1-2. Ab 3 hat sich die Geschichte verselbständigt. Hilfreich dazu ist ihr Blog: Voyages of the Artemis und die Website: Ladies of Lallybroch. Aber auch im Forum Fraser’s Ridge von Steffis Bücherkiste kriegt man viele Infos.
    Ich hoffe ich konnte Dir etwas weiterhelfen.
    lg Grüsse KitCat

  2. Danke für die lange Antwort. Die Lord John Serie kostete ja nicht die Welt, daher werde ich die auf jeden Fall direkt mal lesen, wenn sie Montag geliefert werden.
    Hilf mir aber bitte mal auf die Sprünge was mit dem Mädchen in Paris gemeint ist. Jamie hat deren Tod verschuldet? Ist das was aus Band 2 ? Wenn dann hab ich da was überlesen oder schon wieder vergessen :-) Ich glaube, ich muss das erste Kompendium doch auch noch bestellen.

  3. Nein, irgendwo in Band 7 sinniert Jamie darüber nach, dass er bereits einigen Menschen den Tod gekostet hat. Ich kann jetzt nicht mehr auswendig sagen wo genau, habs auch in einem Zug gelesen. Darunte dürfte wohl auch ein Mädchen sein, aus seiner Jugendzeit in Paris. Davon erfahren wir eben das erste Mal in Band 7, nähere Aufklärung und Hintergrundinfos kommen dann in den Graphic Novels und im zweiten Teil des Kompendiums. So hats Diana Gabaldon jedenfalls verlautbaren lassen. Ich bin ja auch schon so gespannt aufs Ende der Saga. Vor allem interessiert mich wies sein kann, dass genau in dem Moment als Ian den Schatz von der Insel holen will das Sklavenschiff auftaucht. Das ist niemals Zufall, meiner Meinung nach. Diese Ganze Story um Geilis und Duncan Kerr und dem Schatz fasziniert mich total, daher hoffe ich sehr dass wir endlich mal die Auflösung bekommen. Wir wissen ja, dass Geilis in Paris als Wahrsagerin tätig war und wohl auch zum Comte St. Germain eine Verbindung hatte. Sie hat ja in Band 3 sein Notizbuch. Laut Gabaldon sind in Paris einige Dinge vor sich gegangen, von denen Jamie und Claire noch nix wissen. Wir werdens aber auf jeden Fall noch in den Graphic Novels, den weiteren Bänden der Saga und vermutlich auch in dem Buch um Maitre Raymond erfahren was genau vor sich ging, weil hier irgendwie der Schlüssel zu den ganzen Geschehnissen seit Band 2 liegt. Ich bin jedenfalls schon sehr gespannt.

    1. Das in Band 7 muss ich dann wohl noch mal lesen, das ist mir entgangen. Vermutlich zu viele Infos auf einmal. Ich hab mit der Lord John Serie angefangen und die gefällt mir ganz gut, auch wenn ich mich immer dabei ertappe, dass mir jede Andeutung zu Jamie ganz besonders gefällt ;-) Der arme John, hat es schon nicht leicht *g*

  4. I agree on the Lord John series — which I also have not read. It was annoying to realize I was missing all the backstory on several characters who showed up in An Echo in the Bone.

    Re: Jamie’s death, Gabaldon did let the reader know that he had taken a different ship. I don’t think we were supposed to be in suspense about that, but rather in suspense about what his reaction would be when he met up with Claire again. And hers, for that matter.

    What a terrific series. I’m sorry to have to wait for the next book.

  5. The german comment above mentioned that these backstories were new for the readers of the Lord John series as well. Gabaldon is just trying to get all of us interested in the future Lord John novels and other novels from the Outlander universe as well.
    I started reading the Lord John series and like it, but it’s just nothing without Jamie :-)

    I was in suspense about the moment he and Claire were reunited, even though I was a bit disappointed that it was just such a short meeting. Perfect way to keep us anxiously waiting for book 8

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